Local News

Racist graffiti targets Chapel Hill town worker

Posted July 10, 2008

— Two investigations are under way into racist graffiti inside a Chapel Hill town building.

So far, the graffiti has targeted one man, who spoke Thursday about what was written and what he wants to happen next.

Jerry Neville said the graffiti started showing up in February in a bathroom inside one of the buildings at the new Town Operations Center complex off Millhouse Road.

At first, it was sexually profane, he said. By April, it had turned more personal.

He found “racist remarks that were written on the bathroom wall," he said. They either had his last name or initials next to them.

Neville took pictures. The images include profanity, a racial slur, a satanic symbol, references to the KKK and a black noose.

"It's hurtful,” Neville said simply.

There are also references to BPWA, the acronym of the Black Public Works Association. Neville said the group fights for pay raises for low-wage employees and that he believes he was targeted because he once served as president of the group.

"I don't think the organization of the Ku Klux Klan is entrenched in the town. I think it's one or two people that are disgruntled," Neville said. He said he has received support from many co-workers and town officials condemning the behavior.

Chapel Hill police aren't giving details about their investigation, saying only that they are looking into complaints that go back as far as may. The town is also doing an administrative investigation.

A statement from Town Manager Roger L. Stancil says the behavior is "not tolerated or permitted" and that any town employee responsible could be fired.

Neville said he would just like to get through a work day without worrying every time he walks in the bathroom.

"How would you like to walk in the bathroom with your name printed on the wall in a negative way?" he said.

In Durham, meanwhile, Duke University police say they may never know the source of racist graffiti on their campus.

Earlier this month, someone carved the letters "KKK" on a computer at Duke Hospital North. The computer is located in the hospital's Food Services Department.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • imacopicemanPWNT Jul 11, 2008

    Yes, racism, reverse racism and "hoaxism" are quite alive today. Whoever did this, for whatever reason, should be punished.

  • Juliett Jul 11, 2008

    "The woe is me act gets tiring."

    Amen! But, I think by all races, not just one race. Agree?

    "You need to realize that such organizations were formed to protect African Americans from discriminatory practices of caucasians."

    Absolutely. But today, in 2008, not 1860 or even 1950, are they still necessary or it is possible that they contribute to keeping the races divided?

  • FragmentFour Jul 11, 2008

    How about if there was a White Entertainment Television station????

    Then everybody would be asking why it wasn't constructed of red brick like most of the other buildings in this state, and how far down it would drag their property values.

    One thing though... the graffiti was put on a wall in a government building. So that's at least destruction of public property isn't it?

  • Eduardo1 Jul 11, 2008

    coachkyouare great......you left out Miss Black America, imagine in 2008 having a contest called Miss White America. How about magazines such as Ebony or Jet just to name a couple, bet you can not have a magazine WHITE. United Negro College Fund. White People College Fund, Any Black Colleges that you can think of: Tusgeegee, Grambling, Marshall, etc. I guess we will have to change the "faces" in playing cards. Feb is Black History month. What does the initials AME church stand for? and on and on and on

  • chfdcpt Jul 11, 2008

    So if I am a conservative and a republican, then I must be in the KKK according to some. Only problem is that the KKK will not let folks that "habla" into their little circle.

  • Coach K is GREAT Jul 11, 2008

    I don't dislike the word black, I hate the words Double Standard...

  • issymayake Jul 11, 2008

    Don't get the idea that I'm a racist b/c I'm NOT, I just don't like Double Standards of anykind by ANYONE, by the way name ONE channel that has white in the title...

    By the way what did you think of the "REVEREND" Jesse Jacksons comments yesterday, quite honestly I was OFFENDED.
    Coach K is GREAT

    And not once did I call you a racist, nor do I personally think you're a racist. But I do think you dislike the word 'black'.

    Can't name a channel with the word 'white' in it, but I certainly invite you to create one. I believe that's how Robert Johnson launched BET in the first place.

    As for Jesse's statements. . .it was reprehensible for a man of the cloth to use such language. However, like many bloggers and writers, I think it was a shrewd ploy, to gain Obama sympathy.


    The more I hear you people comment on this subject the more I realize the country is doomed.

    Sad, very sad.

  • Cheeksgirl Jul 11, 2008

    MMania - You need to realize that such organizations were formed to protect African Americans from discriminatory practices of caucasians.

    Maybe he wouldn't have seen the noose if we were still restricted to "Colored Only" restrooms. Do me a favor - read a book and educate yourself!

  • Coach K is GREAT Jul 11, 2008

    Agreed. They all are...